Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday July 7th. 2013
n a very moving ceremony in St. Columba’s Cathedral on Wednesday evening, when deacon Tony Wood was raised to the priesthood by Bishop Toal. It was such a joy to see the ordination of a new priest for the diocese, and as we offer Fr Tony our sincere congratulations, we also promise him the support of our prayers and friendship that he will be blessed with a fruitful pastoral life for souls as a priest. I managed to glean a little about Fr. Tony on Wednesday evening, but all the details may not be exact. His parents were both Polish and came to England after the war where they changed their name to Wood. Fr Tony was brought up in a very devout family who brought their strong Polish faith with them from their native country after suffering the ravages of the Nazi invasion. Tony joined the RAF for some time, but was a highly intelligent young man and after completing his degree in  engineering, was later a lecturer at a university, and until recently was correcting exam papers for the Open University. He remained unmarried, and when his parents  became feeble through age, and needed regular attention, he gave up his work to care for them lovingly until they died. His brother has a licensed premises in Campbeltown, and while he was on holiday there about five years ago, he heard a letter from Bishop Murray read
out from the pulpit about the shortage of priests in the diocese, asking any men who were free to consider offering themselves to serve God in the  priesthood. It struck a chord with Tony and he contacted Bishop Ian, who was very impressed on meeting him, and accepted him as a student for the diocese.  Being in his  late forties,  Tony studied in Rome at the Beda Collge, which is specially adapted for late vocations to the priesthood and allows them to complete the course in four years.  Bishop Joseph ordained him to the diaconate at the Scots College in Rome last year, and had the joy of ordaining him a priest for the diocese on Wednesday evening. Bishop Murray also came to the ordination as he had a special interest in Fr Tony since he was instrumental, through God's grace, in starting him on the road to the priesthood. The whole ceremony was very beautiful, with the diocesan choir excelling  itself and enriching the liturgy. Bishop Joseph gave a very beautiful and personal homily before conferring the priesthood on Tony. The first verse of one of the hymns, was sung by the choir in Polish, which gave an emotional touch to the ceremony. I am sure Fr. Tony's parents must have been rejoicing in heaven as they looked down on their devoted son being ordained a priest and fulfilling the fruits of their own faith which they passed on to their children while they were on this earth. May they rest in peace.
Ordination of new priest, Fr Anthony Wood
Newly-ordained Fr Anthony Wood with his brothers, sister and their respective families      Photo:  Anthony MacMillan